Sen. Susan Collins is considering several bills that will send more business my way, but I am outraged. Why?

Because, by removing the ability to enforce important healthy air protections, these bills will lead to an increase in asthma attacks — along with COPD exacerbations. This will result in more patients showing up in the hospital emergency room (where I work as a respiratory therapist), to treat their symptoms.

I see the direct impact of unhealthy air and for many, especially children, it is very real and very frightening. And with rising health care premiums, it is very costly for all of us.

Sen. Collins has often stood up for public health, but this time she is out of step with the values, health, and economic interests of Mainers.

That is why I encourage others to join me by urging Sen. Collins to put Maine’s interests first: to withdraw her support for these bills and to support efforts keep our air healthy.

Diane Haskell

Palermo